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Themes

Transformations abound in A Room with a View. We’re talking change of every possible kind: personal discovery, youth to adulthood, falling in love, shifting allegiances, moving to and from countries…everything that can change does change by the end of the novel, even though we start and end in exactly the same location, a dingy little hotel in Florence. What happens between the opening and closing scenes is a series of many small steps the protagonist takes towards her individual freedom. When you add all of this up, the resulting overarching theme of the novel is the heroine’s transformation from a predictable product of her social environment to a self-aware new woman.

Questions About Transformation

  1. We know that Lucy is changed profoundly by her experiences in Italy. Is Charlotte?
  2. Is transformation only possible for the young?
  3. How genuine is Cecil’s transformation after Lucy breaks off their engagement?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Transformation is not linked to social events, such as engagements or marriages, but to personal experience.

In this novel, woman is an ideal site for transformation because of the restrictions placed upon her.

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